By now, almost everyone with an internet connection in the western world must have heard about Tesla’s brilliant electric cars, haven’t you? The amount of Tesla cars sold in the Netherlands has doubled over the past 3 years. Which means that more and more people will have a Tesla, since the older ones are probably still around as well. This will lead to more charging stations as a convenience for the electric drivers… or will more charging stations lead to more cars? I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that electric cars are the future.
This is not a problem if electric cars are the only applicable sustainable option. As Tesla started selling the first electric cars in the Netherlands, the municipalities started giving away free parking spaces with chargers for electric cars. Meanwhile, the government heavily subsidised the electric cars. Together, this led to a significant monetary benefit which boosted position of the electric car industry in the market.
Market share of Tesla Motors in the Netherlands (percentages)
Number of Tesla cars sold in the Netherlands (cars)
The investments of the governmental parties in the electric car practically eliminated the development of other energy sources for cars, like hydrogen or biofuels. We did the same thing in the early 1900s, but the other way around. The development of the electric cars was eliminated by the more efficient and cheaper gas powered cars, because at that time it was believed that fossil fuel powered cars were the superior alternative.
It is debateable whether we made a mistake choosing for the fossil fuel powered cars back in the 20th century, but let’s not make a mistake in the 21st century, and give all technological possibilities a chance! Fortunately, Toyota has released the Toyota Mirai in 2015, which runs on hydrogen and won the ‘World Green Car of the Year Award’ in 2016. Yet, neither have I seen this car in the Netherlands nor have I even heard of hydrogen fuel stations.
Source: Photography by Sean Rice, https://goo.gl/zSx2DY
The amount of hydrogen stations in the Netherlands is a disappointing number of only 2, which explains why I haven’t heard of them. This, while the amount of public electrical charging stations counts towards 25,000 at the time of writing this.
Number of charging stations for electrical cars in the Netherlands from 2010 to 2016, excluding private charging stations
I’d like to conclude that it is ‘odd’ that electric cars seem to be the prospective future, while there is still at least one other viable possible solution.
We should not repeat history and pick a technology that suits us just for now, but stimulate multiple innovative concurrent solutions to build towards a better future. Toyota is still investing in their hydrogen car, so this technology will not be lost…. for now. And don’t get me wrong, electric cars are great. For the sake of sustainability, technology and the future, please think about these less known innovations, don’t they deserve more publicity and better chances to survive in the market?
Source Featured Image: https://goo.gl/SFTRZk